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David Austin Interview


http://www.rte.ie/2fm/

Merci à Steven de GMF pour le transcript et Frederique de george-michael-news pour les extraits de la traduction

 

David Austin était de passage en Irlande pour y passer les fêtes dans sa famille , il arrivait de Paris et a donné une interview à Gerry Ryan vendredi dernier le 19 Décembre sur une radio irlandaise http://www.rte.ie/2fm/ .

Evidemment les sujets sont December Song et George Michael.

December song sera en téléchargement gratuit sur le site officiel les 25 et 26 Décembre 2008 puis retrouvera une commercialisation traditionnelle en 2009.

Il parle de George comme quelqu'un qui a les pieds sur terre, droit, qui aime les plaisirs simples de la vie. C'est fabuleux de travailler avec lui, il ne laisse rien passer et il n'a pas de limites.

Les premières ébauches de December Song datent de 2006.George aimait bien. David pense que Kenny en a parlé à Geri Haliwell qui voulait en faire le single du retour des Spice Girls mais le temps a manqué. La chanson a failli être donnée à Michael Bubble mais George l'aimait de plus en plus.

George est actuellement en train de préparer quelques extraits du concert de Earls Court pour la diffusion à la télé pour Noël.
Un format de 2 heures est en préparation pour les salles de cinéma au printemps puis le DVD sortira.

George va prendre une année de repos et a beaucoup de projets très excitants pour le futur dont David ne peut pas parler. Il a prévu de passer du temps en Afrique du Sud au printemps pour écrire mais David pense que ce n'est pas une bonne idée.

L'histoire de December Song ...

 

"Les premières ébauches de December Song datent de 2006, j'étais à Londres et nous écrivions. George a un studio dans son poolhouse et c'était les vacances. J'étais en train d'écrire quelques lignes de ce refrain, un peu comme quelque chose de Coldplay, il est arrivé, a écouté et a dit " oh j'aime beaucoup mais coupes en la moitié" alors je l'ai fait. J'ai tout ralenti, j'en ai supprimé la moitié. Il est revenu, a baissé un des choeurs, et avait une idée de base pour les paroles.
Les Spice Girls  étaient prêtes pour leur nouvelle tournée, pour leur retour. Je crois que Kenny, le compagnon de George, l'a envoyé à Géri, quelque chose comme ça... Simon Fuller l'a entendu, l'a aimé et voulait en faire leur chanson de Noël. De toutes façons, à ce moment là, George était en pleine tournée... et vous savez, travailler avec George, il n'y a pas de limites... pas de budgets ... il ne sait même pas ce qu'est une limite! Alors nous n'avons pas pu finir la chanson à temps, ils nous appelaient, ils la réclamaient ... mais nous avons manqué cette opportunité.
Je suis allé à Dallas en 2007, je travaillais au studio sous 100° de chaleur et nous allions la finir pour Michael Bubble. Et plus George travaillait dessus, plus il voulait la garder pour lui.
Nous l'avons fini en Septembre, de retour au studio 2.

C'est amusant, quelqu'un m'a demandé comment c'était d'écrire une chanson de Noël en pleine canicule? Je lui ai expliqué que l'on se concentre sur l'écriture de la mélodie. On peut mettre les cloches et tout cela après. C'était juste important de donner au public quelque chose dont il pourrait se rappeler, une mélodie à siffler.

Dans notre chanson, december song, il y a un sample au début et à la fin tiré d'une chanson de Sinatra, enregistrée en 1954 et sortie en 1957. George l'avait entendu et aime beaucoup cette chanson "Christmas Waltz" depuis des années. Il a demandé si il pouvait l'utiliser . Quand je l'ai samplé à Dallas, il a dit " oh, on garde ça".
Tout le monde attendait cette chanson. Quand George a annoncé qu'elle sortirait pour Noël, Rob Stringer de Sony, que j'ai vu à New York m’a  demandé quand elle sortirait "dans 10 ans ?".
Ce que l'on a avec George, c'est de la qualité."

Texte original

 

David Austin on The Gerry Ryan Show 
Gerry Ryan: George Michael and "You Have Been Loved", and of course, if you have been listening to 2FM over the last couple of days, you'll probably be very familiar with this offering. And this song is also going to appear as a free download on the 2FM website, as promised by George himself. Let's take a little sample of the "December Song".

Show plays sample of "December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)"


Gerry Ryan: The "December Song," from George Michael. And now some of you may remember last August, if you can remember back that far, at his final two concerts at London's Earl's Courts, in a mood that predicted the leaner times that we find ourselves in, George Michael promised to give away his new Christmas song, "December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas)."

And in fairness to him, he has kept true to that promise. This Christmas day, "December Song" will be available as a free download, right here on the 2FM website, however, what a lot of you didn't know is that "December Song" was co-written by George's longtime friend and collaborator, David Austin, who is in Paris this morning but dreaming of Christmas with his family.
David Austin, good morning and welcome!
David Austin: Hi Gerry how are you doing?
Gerry Ryan: I'm very well, lovely to have you with us.
David Austin: Thank you very much.
Gerry: Well, it's a lovely gesture to have given away this song and music is great whether you have to pay for it or not. I often think it's better when you pay for it but however, that's George's business. How does that effect your royalties and copyrights?
David: Well obviously this year I'm not going to get any... We only make money on the airplay but it's only a free download the 25th. Actually, it's the 25th and the 26th this year, and uh, its a free download, just for this year. Next year it goes on sale commercially. And of course, the thing you know about Christmas singles... it's all about airplay and compilations year after year after year... you know those records just keep coming back. So, in the long run it doesn't really effect me. And I think it's a nice gesture on George's behalf, especially after having such a great tour for the last two-three years and a little bit something back to the fans you know?
Gerry: Now in fact it's the first Christmas song to be released by George Michael since, and I feel old saying this... since 1984, Last Christmas... still one of my favorite Christmas songs and I so loved the video to that as well, so it's quite a lot of water under several bridges since then and all through those years, in fact going right back to the very early days, "Young Guns" and "The Edge of Heaven," and "Wham Rap!," you've been working with George.
David: Yeah that's right, it was my break into the industry really, you know we were in a school band before that called "The Executive"... myself, George, Andrew and Andrew's brother Paul and we just really didn't do much. From there, those two guys went off and formed Wham, which we all know, and I played guitar in the backing band while looking for a record and a publishing deal which fortunately I managed to secure. I've got a publishing deal and that was the beginning of it all... but yes I took part in a lot of those early records you know, had fantastic experiences and travel the world and did all that kind of stuff.
Gerry: And you finally got to play on stage at Wembley at The Final Concert.
David: Yeah that's right.
Gerry: I was at that!
David: Oh were you? When Elton came on as Ronald McDonald, didn't he?
Gerry: Yeah.. [both laugh]. Now, I adored Wham and Wham gave us a great sense of happy...
David: (interrupting) Yeah... I hear you are a bit of a music buff.
Gerry: I wouldn't say I'm a music buff, but I adored Wham... loved Wham. I loved Wham for all the reasons that an awful lot of people and serious music critics didn't love them. I thought they were very uplifting, very positive and it was at a bleak time, not unlike the times we are heading into. But also, what people didn't really understand was that the songs were incredibly well crafted, and George was a wonderful performer and producer in the making at that time, you know? Now to have a role, a part to play in that must have been tremendous fun, but also you got a chance to watch the evolvement of maybe one of our greatest recording artists. Has he changed much David?
David: Ummm.... no, he’s exactly the same. You know, he’s got a couple of million quid in his pocket but apart from that I think he pretty down to earth, straight forward guy. Likes the simple things in life, Sky+, his dogs. He hasn’t changed much...
Gerry: You know in the words of Max Bigraves when he went to the (?) in his Rolls Royce from whence he came and someone said “Max have you changed?” and he says “Bloody right I have!” [both laugh]. But for the better! Now, what’s he like to work with?
David: Umm... God, I think he’s very easy actually... I’ve worked with him for... well I’ve worked on all the albums now actually, and you know he’s a task master, he’s got a great ear, I mean you cannot get anything past him... you try to slip something past him in the studio and he’s like “Oh... what’s that?” He’s good. He’s very good. He knows his music and he knows how to make a record. When we record in the studio, the difference... you know the first thing is a budget... a lot of people don’t have budgets anymore. There is no budget when working with George Michael, the last album took us what? Six years? Most people get you know, 4 weeks in the studio these days, then they mix it in seven days, so certainly you’ve got the luxury in that.
Gerry: And does that make it better? I recall listening to Bryan Ferry talk about how long he took to make albums and it takes years for him to make them. A huge amount of effort is put in. Labor intensive and very expensive recordings....do you think that that necessarily makes them better?
David: No, not really. I mean the last album, “Patience” for me, I think we were about a year and a half in, and I don’t know, the record really sounded kind of cooked to me, you know what I mean? And then it just kind of took a turn. It depends now, I think you can put something down and you get that initial vibe. A lot of people will take those demos in because they can’t get they put down originally you know? So it’s not necessarily a good thing. There’s no budget when you are working with George, so there is a fantastic development team of five or so working together. We throw around ideas and mix it as we go along. We never mix it afterwards. We work out of Air in London, which is George Martin’s studio.
Gerry & Austin discuss the Air studio and George Martin’s son producing the Beatles’ “Love” album.

Back to George:

Gerry: Now, December Song was originally written by you for the Spice Girls.
David: I’ll tell you what happened actually, one of the first... can I say manifested states of the song was in 2006, I was in London and we were writing in general. George has got a studio in his poolhouse, and it was holiday, I was writing this chorus idea, kind of like a Coldplay kind of thing, and he came in and listened to it and said “Oh oh, I really like that... cut it in half!” so I did. I kind of slowed everything down and cut it in half and messed with it, and he went in there and put a chorus down, with a basic verse idea. The Spice Girls were getting ready for their new tour, for their comeback, remember that a couple of years ago? I think George’s partner Kenny sent it to Geri, something like that... anyway Simon Fuller heard it, loved it and wanted it for the Christmas record.
Anyway, George was on tour at the time... and you know, working with George, there are no deadlines... no budgets... he doesn’t even know what a deadline is! So we didn’t actually have the song finished on time, so they were calling for it, screaming for it... but we missed that opportunity. I moved to Dallas in 2007, I was working on it in the studio in Dallas in like 100 degrees of heat, and we were going to give it to Michael Buble.
Gerry: Would’ve suited Michael Buble as well.
David: Yeah, a bit of a crooner now isn’t he? And the more George was working with it, he decided to keep it, and in September we finished it in London, down in Studio 2, and he absolutely wanted it for himself. Funny thing actually, someone said the other day, what was it like working on a Christmas song in the heat. I explained to him you know, you just really focus on writing the melody and the hooks and things like that. You can put the bells, all that rubbish on afterwards. It was just important to give the public something to remember, a tune to whistle. That’s what you are concentrating on. But someone said, what was it like in the heat? And I was just thinking about it last night, y’know... Slade, you know their classic? They recorded that in August in New York, it was just an average Slade rock song, then John Lennon came down to the studio, heard it and put this kind of accordion thing on it, that thing those street choirs used to have and he put that on it and it became a Christmas song. Recorded in the summer. In our song, December Song, you didn’t play it but there is a sample at the front and the end. The original Sinatra song, recorded in 1954 in August. Nelson Riddle. We used the Sinatra sample at the front and tail end of the song. George listened to it and has loved that song for years, Christmas Waltz. It was on an album called Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra, released in 1957. George heard that and asked if he could sample it and put it in. After I did that in Dallas, he was like “Oh no, I’m keeping this.”
Gerry: Well I don’t blame him. He was right to keep it as well. But thank God you were able to get it completed in time for Christmas. I’m surprised it didn’t arrive for publication at the end of May or something, with the way that George works!
David: We were all expecting it. When he said we were putting it out this Christmas, I saw Rob Stringer, you know, the CEO of Sony, I saw Rob in New York a while ago last year and he asked me when the Christmas single was coming out “In ten years?”
You know, the one thing you get with George is you get quality.
Gerry: Absolutely. And speaking of quality. A lot of people are asking if your collaborations will continue. Will he take the songs you have written, and hopefully will write together again out on the road again?
David: Without giving too much away... um, I think he’s going to take the next year off. Right now he’s editing the Earls Court shows, editing them for some spot videos for Christmas TV, channel 4, UK. Four or five videos from Earls Court. Then there will be a two hour special gonna be released in cinemas in the Spring then release during the course of next season. He’s got some ideas for the next stage of George Michael, very exciting but can’t really talk about. As far as the writings concerned... I don’t know if this is a good idea... he’s talking about going to South Africa in the spring for a month or two and doing a bit of writing. I’m not sure he’ll get too much writing done there...
Gerry: I suspect he’ll have a good time. [both laugh] Well

David Austin, happy Christmas to you and keep up the good work. We are very proud of what you’ve done and thank you very much indeed!
David: You know what? I’ve got to say one thing. My mom and dad will kill me if I don’t say this. So I want to say happy Christmas to my mother and father who are listening, and the public and I know it’s a plug and I know I’d get killed if I didn’t!
Gerry: And that was David Austin who wrote December Song, co-wrote with George Michael. And it was nice to talk to him I think!

 
 

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